Category Archives: theory

Claudia Jones: We Seek Full Equality for Women

We Seek Full Equality for Women (1949)

Taking up the struggle of the Suffragists, the Communists have set new tasks, new objectives in the fight for a new status for women. The special value of Foster’s contribution:

The leading role of the Communist Party in the struggle to emancipate women from male oppression is one of the proud contributions which our Party of Marxism-Leninism, the Communist Party, U.S.A., celebrates on its thirtieth anniversary.

Marxism-Leninism exposes the core of the woman question and shows that the position of women in society is not always and everywhere the same, but derives from woman’s relation to the mode of production. Continue reading

C.L.R. James: Every Cook Can Govern

C.L.R. James, 1956
Direct Democracy

The Greek form of government was the city-state. Every Greek city was an independent state. At its best, in the city state of Athens, the public assembly of all the citizens made all important decisions on such questions as peace or war. They listened to the envoys of foreign powers and decided what their attitude should be to what these foreign powers had sent to say. They dealt with all serious questions of taxation, they appointed the generals who should lead them in time of war. They organized the administration of the state, appointed officials and kept check on them. The public assembly of all the citizens was the government. Continue reading

Claudia Jones: An End to the Problems of the Negro Woman!

Claudia JonesJournalist, editor, intellectual-activist, communist theorist, community leader and human rights advocate Claudia Vera Cumberbatch Jones (1915-1964) was born February 21, 1915 in Trinidad and Tobago. After years of membership beginning as a teenager, she became the only black woman on the central committee of the Communist Party USA and Secretary of the Women’s commission in 1947. In that role, she organized women’s groups across the United States and wrote a Women’s Rights column titled “Half the World” for The Daily Worker. A speech titled “International Women’s Day and the Struggle for Peace” delivered on International Women’s Day in 1950 was cited as the “overt act” which led to her arrest, trial, conviction, and imprisonment for being a communist in the United States. In December 1955, she was deported to England because she was still then a Commonwealth “subject.” There, she became the founder of the first black newspaper in London, the West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News (WIG) in 1958 and developed a praxis that bridged the United States and United Kingdom, informed by the world politics of decolonization. She organized a parallel March on Washington in 1963 and met world leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mao Tse-Tung, Norman Manley, Cheddi Jagan, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya.  Continue reading

bell hooks – Homeplace: A Site of Resistance

Historically, African-American people believed that the construction of a home-place, however fragile and tenuous (the slave hut, the wooden shack), had a radical dimension, one’s homeplace was the one site where one could freely construct the issue of humanization, where one could resist. Black women resisted by making homes where all black people could strive to be subjects, not objects, where we could be affirmed in our minds and hearts despite poverty, hardship, and deprivation, where we could restore to ourselves the dignity denied us on the outside in the public world.